While it’s easy to decide your CRM software is no longer suiting your needs, it’s not easy to implement an entirely new system. However, proper CRM software is critical for any customer care team or call center, whether in-house or outsourced.
So, instead of jumping ahead of yourself, it may be smart to perform some auditing on the software to determine the root cause of your CRM problems in the first place. Some potential problems include:
- Over-customized software
- Outgrowing of the software
- Basic service/sales processes not successfully in place
Performing an audit on your CRM software will help you determine the exact problems, one of which could be those listed above. In the book, Just Enough CRM, by Francois Tourniaire, he suggests, “What other areas could cause what appear to be tool issues? Very often, the root cause is poor processes rather than the tool itself. Processes that are inefficient, not customer-friendly, or plain confusing need to be fixed before any tool can be successful.”
So, before investing in entirely new CRM or sales software, consider its current pitfalls and how they can be modified first; you can do this by auditing the program yourself, or hiring a professional team to do it.
Auditing your software can be as fast or long as you choose it to be, if you do it yourself. Experts agree that there is a long and short version of this; the quick audit, however, may reveal some issues you want to further evaluate in a detailed audit. If auditing for the first time, a quick audit may be all you need.
In the quick audit, there are a number of questions you’ll want to ask yourself to determine whether the various components of your tool and processes are working correctly. They fall into multiple categories:
- General customer care: Are you customers able to contact both sales and customer care with ease? Are specific processes in place – with new employees trained on them? Are current employees consistently taking part in training and new processes?
- Using the tool: Is customer information stored properly? Can customers easily access their end of the tool with no training? Metrics and analytics – Do your employees know how to get that information from the agent desktop or dashboard?
- CRM speed: Can you create new accounts quickly and efficiently? Are current sales/customer forecasts are easy to find and pull?
- Maintenance costs: Auditing Your CRM System 2 expressly suggests you consider maintenance costs per year. Auditing Your System suggests you should be spending no more than $1,000 per employee on maintenance costs.
If you answered yes to many questions asked in general customer care and using the tool – the problem is from within the current processes, not the tool itself. However, if a majority of questions regarding the tool were answered no, then it’s important you consider whether they can be fixed before deciding to purchase new software.
If the DIY auditing sounds like too much for your current workload, you can invest in professional auditing. Hiring a professional team of auditors to do this for you ensures that you make the right decision on whether it’s time to implement new software. When choosing professional auditors, consider three specifics to determine who will best suit your needs:
- The amount of work needed
- Their experience with CRM, and the program you use in particular.
- The purpose of your audit
Auditing your CRM software can be a daunting task, and thus, going the DIY route may not be worth saving the money to hire an auditing team. If you start by considering the first three pitfall areas, and determine that your basic customer care/sales processes need to be updated or are not strictly in place, there may be no need for a software audit, at all.
However, if you are confident in these areas of the department, it’s critical that you audit the system for any potential problems. Buying and implementing a new system can be expensive and arduous – so, make it your last resort.
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